Story last updated at 6/19/2013 - 2:06 pm
SITKA - Many people get into law enforcement because the career is in their blood. But modern police work also demands high levels of education. That's where the new University of Alaska Southeast Law Enforcement program comes in.
Starting in 2013, students from throughout Alaska can earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement degree online from the UAS Sitka Campus. This degree provides participants with up-to-date industry-specific training that will enhance their professional opportunities.
The program is designed with newly graduated high school students and current police officers in mind, and students can pursue the degree in their spare time from their home communities through e-Learning. This is the University of Alaska's first two-year law enforcement degree program, and students who want to continue their studies beyond the associate degree level can go on to earn four-year bachelor's degrees in criminal justice through the UA Anchorage or UA Fairbanks programs. Many police departments now require college training and degrees for advancement.
In addition, many high school graduates are interested in preparing for a law enforcement career, but they have to be at least 21 years old to become a cadet at the Alaska Law Enforcement Training Academy in Sitka. The UAS Law Enforcement program can help students prepare for their career as they wait to become eligible to enter the academy. Students learn about the challenges of police work in Alaska, including valuable skills such as communications, critical thinking, information literacy, computer usage, and professional behavior.
Besides the two-year degree, the UAS Sitka Campus partners with the Alaska Department of Public Safety to offer an occupational endorsement to those cadets who complete the Alaska Law Enforcement Training Academy's 15-week intensive boot camp. The academy teaches driving skills, physical fitness, shooting skills, and hand-to-hand combat skills to any Alaskan meeting certain physical and educational requirements.